By Dave Choate
Hampton Union, Friday, December 7, 2007
[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]
HAMPTON -- Mitt Romney focused on his plans for strengthening the country's economic and military might Monday night at Hampton Academy after being asked about a planned speech on the role of his Mormon faith earlier in the day.
The Republican presidential candidate was in Hampton for an "Ask Mitt Anything" event that pulled an estimated 200 people into the school despite the snowy weather. In response to questions about the war and economic issues, Romney emphasized traditional family values, more funding for the military and a lower tax burden as keys for helping the country.
"We need to strengthen our military, strengthen our economy and strengthen our values," he said. "Keeping America strong has to be a primary goal of the next president."
Romney also addressed illegal immigration, saying he supports identification cards for legal immigrants. He said he would push for sanctions against "sanctuary cities," which allow many illegal immigrants to live within their limits.
Kathy Street of Hampton was at the event with her daughter Melissa and her son Michael, who will be voting for the first time in January. She said a question she asked Romney after the forum concluded left her impressed with his emphasis on family values.
"I just asked him what accomplishment he was the most proud of and he said raising five boys," she said.
Earlier in the day, Romney was asked by a supporter in Manchester about plans to speak at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, about his Mormon faith.
Romney said the speech would not echo John F. Kennedy's famous speech in 1960 about his Catholic beliefs and would instead focus on the role of faith in America.
"I want to make sure that we maintain our religious heritage in this country, not a particular faith, if you will, not of a particular sect or denomination, but rather the great moral heritage that we have that's so critical to the future of this country," Romney said to the audience in Manchester.
[Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.]